Health group waiting to see how Senate votes on GOP health care bill

May 8, 2017, 5:55 AM




PHOENIX — An Arizona health group is keeping a close eye on whether the Senate passes the American Health Care Act that was passed by the U.S. House last week.

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) says it’s disappointed that the house passed the bill. The group claims it could leave a lot of people uninsured.

“The original scoring from the Congressional Budget Office showed about 14 million people falling off of enrollment,” said the association’s vice president of policy development, Debbie Johnston. “That would ratchet up to 24 million after a few years, and we know that hundreds of thousands of Arizonans could lose coverage.”

Johnston said that many of those who would lose coverage could end up going to hospital emergency rooms for care for ailments that would normally land them at the doctor’s office if they had insurance. She’s worried that the plan would also slash funding for Medicaid.

Even though the AzHHA is apprehensive about the new health plan, Johnston said that the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — it is intended to replace isn’t perfect.

“Much of the middle class did not receive financial support under the Affordable Care Act,” said Johnston. “They saw the cost of their premiums skyrocket. This does need to be addressed.”

Johnston said that the AzHHA has already been speaking with Arizona’s two senators, Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, about its concerns.

“They were very much in listening mode and were very helpful in terms of giving us their time and listening to our concerns,” said Johnston.

She said the Senators did not give any indication how they plan to vote on the plan that was passed last week.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

City of Goodyear unveils state-of-the-art Fire Station 188

The city of Goodyear held a grand opening ceremony on Thursday for the addition of its latest fire station.

42 minutes ago

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...

Associated Press

Man already serving life sentence convicted of killing Tucson girl who vanished from parents’ home

A man already serving a life sentence was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of another Tucson girl years earlier.

4 hours ago

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was...

Danny Shapiro

Suspect indicted on manslaughter charge in death of fellow IRS agent in Phoenix

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was indicted on a manslaughter charge, authorities announced Friday.

5 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

6 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: A closer look at the alleged cover-up of Preston Lord’s fatal beating

Arizona Republic investigative reporters Robert Anglen and Elena Santa Cruz join guest host Kristin Bentz to further explain the latest developments in the Preston Lord investigation. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

6 hours ago

A sign in front of a building identifies Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Maryvale in Phoeni...

Kevin Stone

Valleywise Health replenishing mental health care capacity after staffing setback

Valleywise Health is working to replenish its mental health care capacity after cutting back because of staffing shortages in 2022.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Health group waiting to see how Senate votes on GOP health care bill